Central Virginia Organic Gardener

"And 'tis my faith that every flower enjoys the air it breathes." - William Wordsworth, 1798

Sunday, September 9, 2012

Update: The Tyranny of the Garden...Produce

Each season I wonder "How many years will I be able to keep this up?"  as I process and can yet another batch of something.  But it is still way worth it.  Here are the "fruits" of my labor with some of my muscadines (see last week's blog): top, muscadine sorbet (recipe to follow) and bottom, muscadine syrup. (A big thanks to my husband who did a lot of the initial separation of inners and outers).  The sorbet is not subtle, it hits you in the mouth with a big grape flavor!  YUM!  (By the way, you can use fox, Concord, Niagara or any native grape for this recipe).

Muscadine Sorbet Recipe

1 quart muscadine grapes, purple or bronze
2 c sugar (to taste: the mix must taste pretty sweet before it is frozen)
2 c. water
1/4c lemon juice

Wash the muscadines,  At the stem end, cut a slit.  Squeeze the pulp into one bowl, place the skins into another.
Cook skins and pulp separately.  Skins only need to be simmered on medium for 15 minutes (you need to do this because muscadine skins are very thick, but contribute a lot of flavor). Cool and puree the skins with the water in a blender.  Cook the pulp, simmering on medium for about 20 minutes.  Put the pulp through a fine-grained sieve (or a mesh colander, jelly strainer) and stir with a wooden spoon to force the pulp, minus the seeds, through the sieve.  Discard seeds.  Mix pureed skins and pulp in a stockpot, add sugar and lemon juice.  Simmer for 30 minutes.  Taste and add sugar if it is not sweet enough (desserts served cold usually need more sugar than ones served warm, because your taste buds cannot register the sweet as well when they are cold).  Follow manufacturer's directions to freeze in an ice cream maker (I have a standard Rival brand, water and salt, bucket ice-cream freezer and processed this for 40 minutes).

(Syrup is made the same way, but is cooked longer to reduce the volume of water.  Process 20 minutes).

Have fun!  
Happy garden produce processing!  And eating!

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